Further to my post below, I recently watched the Australian premiere of Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine at the Canberra International Film Festival. It was painstakingly good – for my money, probably the best drama out of the United States this year. The film explores the anatomy of a break-up, as a young couple’s marriage disintegrates. Cindy and Dean (Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling) play a working class married couple with a young child. The film’s narrative shifts in time, intercutting the moments Cindy and Dean first meet and fall in love with the state of their precarious marriage six years later. The film has a simple beauty that is juxtaposed by complex characters. Ryan Gosling has never been better and is making a solid claim with this performance for the title of “Best Actor of His Generation” . Not only is the cinemaphotography gorgeous, the film includes a score by Grizzly Bear (that, notably, only plays during the couple’s earlier, happier days). Blue Valentine was an unsettling, confronting, bittersweet film. But, in equal parts, it was hopeful, poetic and exquisitely crafted. You gotta watch this one.